Steeped in 800 years of history, Amsterdam is an iconic global city. From its humble beginnings as a 13th-century fishing village on a river bed to its current role as a major hub for science, business, and culture, Amsterdam epitomizes a strong tradition as a centre of culture and commerce. Over the centuries, international trading has made Amsterdam a thriving cultural city, attracting some of the world’s best painters, writers, and creative minds. Further, the city is beautiful with old trading houses situated along hundred kilometres of canals, ninety islands and fifteen hundred bridges. It houses several recognized museums (e.g., Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum with “de Nachtwacht” by Rembrandt, and the modern art museum housing Mondrian), and is well-known for its rich theatre life and dynamic music scene.
With two large universities (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Universiteit van Amsterdam), Amsterdam is also the home to over 70,000 students pursuing higher education. Furthermore, science, innovation, and technology are important aspects of the Dutch society, with many start-ups and entrepreneurial companies based in Amsterdam. Due to its historical focus on trading and the global economy, it accommodates the headquarters of several multinational companies, such as Heineken, ING, Booking.com, KLM, and Adidas.
Amsterdam is easily accessible by road, train, and plane (with the airport only 20 minutes away from the city centre by public transport). Being a compact city, it encompasses delightfully short travel times between hotels, venues, and restaurants, and has recently been reopened as a “safe” conference hub.